Stevia plant, also called sugar grass, has been used as a natural sweetener in many countries for many years. Stevia, which is offered as an alternative to the use of sugar, especially for people with diseases such as obesity and diabetes, is described as the plant of the future.
What is the stevia plant used for?
Stevia, which has been used for centuries in Paraguay and Brazil for its sweetening and therapeutic properties, has been used as a sweetener and food additive in Japan for over thirty years.
The extract obtained from this plant is said to have blood sugar regulating effects.
The existence of some studies showing that stevia has effects that increase insulin sensitivity and even its secretion supports its use in the treatment of diabetes.
The Stevioside substance contained in the stevia plant is perceived by our body's senses of taste as 250-300 times more sugary than normal sugar. Therefore, a pinch of sugar plant powder is enough to sweeten a liter of tea, coffee or other beverages.
What are the health benefits and side effects of stevia plant?
It has positive effects against diet, diabetes, high blood pressure, constipation, depression and irritability.
It maintains the stomach and intestinal flora and the acid-alkaline balance.
However, there are various scientific studies that excessive use of the stevia plant causes infertility by reducing sperm production, especially in men.
The stevia plant has been banned for a long time in the USA and Canada. However, this herb has been used for years in Japan and no side effects have been observed on those who use it.
People of various countries in Latin America have also been using this plant for centuries. Finally, the USA and Canada lifted the bans on the plant and released its use.
However, indigenous people in Paraguay, especially in rural areas, use the stevia plant for birth control, which confirms the plant's sperm-reducing effect.
Is stevia safe? What are the dangers of stevia?
The FDA has not approved stevia leaves or raw stevia extracts for use as food additives. Studies on raw forms of stevia raise concerns about its effects on blood sugar control, cardiovascular and renal systems, and its potential for male infertility.
In contrast, rebaudioside A, a chemical isolated from stevia, appears to be safe to use as a food additive in sweetener products.
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